Lights Turning Green

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I wish for you
clear road ahead,
and lights turning green.
Not a destination certain,
on a map,
but a road
where sudden bends
open vistas to the far horizon.
Crossroads I hope you find,
so you can consider new directions,
take a turnoff just for fun,
and see where it might lead you.
A passing lane to get you by
those who seem to lead the way
but are really lost,
and lots of turn outs,
so you can let traffic speed past,
not crowd too close behind you;
and overlooks, of course,
where you can stop,
see where you’ve been,
where you’ve yet to go,
and at the same time look all around,
photograph the smallest flowers,
as well as distant mountain peaks,
and shimmering lakes reflecting.
If you need to stop
and turn around,
I hope for ample shoulders,
because proceeding in the wrong direction
is rarely useful,
though you may only learn
your road is leading down a dead end
by traveling far enough to see.
Picnic stops too,
so you can rest up,
eat something delicious
and go on at full strength.
And if your lights can’t be
always turning green,
I hope you can accept
the need to stop
along your way
if only temporarily,
to reassesses,
and also see those opportunities
which don’t come at you
straight on,
but from the side, obliquely.
And one last wish:
May your passenger seat
hold someone dear to you,
who is smart enough
to help you navigate,
tune the radio,
pass you a cold drink,
rub your neck,
and tell you,
with a grin,
when you’ve taken a wrong turn.



You say goodbye,
smile proudly
as they stand there, so tall
with backpack, camera,
and you hand over a sandwich
or a fresh red peach,
and a lucky penny,
wishing, Godspeed.
You can’t go with them,
hold their hands as they cross
whatever street they must
to school, or train, or plane—
or ocean, or midnight sky.
You can only watch,
feeling your heart beat fast,
still warmed from that last hug,
as they walk away,
looking smaller to you
as they grow
to full size on their own.
You swallow tears.
arms already feeling empty,
and try to smile,
for they might look back
for reassurance,
or to wave excitement
as their newest adventure begins.
At last you turn,
go back inside
to whatever house you call home,
make yourself coffee or tea,
and plan your own journey
to destinations unforseen.

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 © 2005, Lenore Horowitz